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Certain cancers more common among HIV patients than non-HIV patients
Date:9/25/2009

DALLAS Sept. 25, 2009 Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found that non-AIDS-defining malignancies such as anal and lung cancer have become more prevalent among HIV-infected patients than non-HIV patients since the introduction of anti-retroviral therapies in the mid-1990s.

AIDS patients with suppressed immune systems are at higher risk for so-called AIDS-defining malignancies cancers such as non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, Kaposi's sarcoma and cervical carcinoma. Some researchers have speculated, however, that HIV patients are diagnosed with more non-AIDS-defining malignancies simply because anti-retroviral drugs now used enable them to live longer, but the results of the UT Southwestern study suggest that other factors may be at work.

The researchers, using data from more than 100,000 patient records in the U.S. Veterans Affairs Healthcare System, found that when the statistics were adjusted for gender, race/ethnicity and age, HIV-infected patients were 60 percent more likely to have anal, lung, Hodgkin's, melanoma or liver cancer than patients without HIV. The rate of prostate cancer was similar between the two groups, according to the report.

"It's a genuine increase in the incidence of these cancers," said Dr. Roger Bedimo, assistant professor of internal medicine at UT Southwestern and lead author of a study appearing online and in the October edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. "The increase is more visible because these patients are living longer, but our findings suggest that the increased number of non-AIDS-defining malignancies is not simply the result of their longer lives."

For the study, researchers compared the rates of non-AIDS-defining malignancies between patients with and without HIV who received care at a VA system facility between 1997 and 2004. For each HIV-positive patient, researchers identified at least two HIV-negative patients who received care
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Contact: Kristen Holland Shear
Kristen.hollandshear@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-3404
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert  

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